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BOEING FIRST-QUARTER DELIVERIES DECLINE

By NBF NEWS
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Boeing Cmpany, the second-largest commercial-plane maker, delivered 11 per cent fewer aircraft in the first quarter as one jumbo-jet model was discontinued and bad seats from a Japanese supplier forced some delays, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

Shipments through March fell to 108 planes, Boeing said on its Web site. The company delivered 121 planes from Seattle's Boeing Field a year earlier, when it was working through pent-up demand from a strike at the end of 2008 that had halted production for two months.

Boeing scaled back 2010 delivery plans, saying in January that shipments would fall to 460 to 465 aircraft, from 481 in 2009. The company decided last year to cut production starting this June, after the global recession spurred airlines to cancel or defer deliveries.

In the meantime, Boeing's commercial chief, Mr. Jim Albaugh, decided to restore output next year and predicted last month that the company would regain the Number 1 title from rival Airbus SAS in 2011 as new models enter service.

Through March, Boeing shipped 86 model 737s, the world's most widely flown plane, as well as 19 model 777s and 3 of its 767s. The company had 100 new orders and 17 cancellations through April 6, leaving it with 83 net orders. That compares with a net of four cancellations a year earlier.

Toulouse, France-based Airbus said today it shipped 122 planes and had 60 orders so far this year. It had 498 shipments last year, retaining the top ranking it has held since 2003.

747 Models Boeing built its last 747-400 in May 2009 and started work on the 747-8. That plane, a bigger version of the 40-year-old jumbo jet, had its maiden flight in February and won't be delivered to the first customer until the end of this year. The new 787 Dreamliner is also being certified and due to enter service in this year's fourth quarter.

Some deliveries have been delayed while Boeing checks the safety of seats made by Koito Industries Limited, the Japanese manufacturer that admitted to falsifying some tests. Boeing sent a team of engineers and quality technicians to Japan in late 2009 to begin verifying flammability and structural tests of the seats before accepting them, an extra step that has set back the installations, the US planemaker said in February.